Cory Sullivan

Some things in life simply change you and stretch your capabilities. Joining Crossfit has been one of those experiences. From the challenging WOD’s to the encouragement you receive, you are pushed to become more then you think you are.  While only a few months since joining I have learned a lot about fitness, dieting and myself.

Before Crossfit, I believed I was in decent shape. I would have sporadic visits to the gym, going quite often, but the habit would only last a month or two.  In high school and college I prided myself on my strength and athleticism. Through college old habits would creep in and any gains I saw would fade away. I first heard about Crossfit during college where I played D-I rugby and dabbled trying out some WOD’s while at the gym. I moved down to Virginia in 2011 without knowing a soul. A sedentary lifestyle and a bachelors diet became destructive. In the summer of 2012 I was the heaviest I had ever been at 290, I shook my head and would become depressed at a poor body image. Something needed to change.

Crossfit started becoming a habit when I found out a friend at church was a level 1 coach. We would workout in his house gym on Sundays and would keep up with one another during the week. Accountability is a big part of Crossfit and later that would increase when I participated in the Whole Life Challenge. I needed more and looked at my schedule for something that would fit. Introduce Crossfit Woodbridge.

CFW quickly became a motivating factor in life. Before the Whole Life Challenge started I had lost 14 pounds in two weeks and was hungry for more. Then we started the Whole Life Challenge. The mix of a points system (I cursed myself about 15 times when I forgot to log points), accountability, diet change and pushing myself at the gym started to payoff.

At CFW I have seen a lot of progress and proud accomplishments. During the Whole Life Challenge I lost seven inches around my hips and three around my waist. Fear would creep in that as I lost weight I would become weaker. I laughed away that fear when I PR’ed my back squat at 465 and have watched my bands get fewer and thinner on the almost daily pull-ups. I can’t remember a time when I was in better shape and have enjoyed fitting into clothes sizes that I wore in high school. Taking the principles I have learned at CFW and introducing them to the people around me has become second nature. From my co-workers to the teenagers I teach, they have seen my transformation and want in (even when they laugh when I eat chicken without any rice). It is a happy moment when the students stop eating the cafeteria food and ask to eat the food I have brought, even when it is just vegetables.

Crossfit provides you a community to become something more. You dread the “no-rep” from the coaches but it motivates you to get it together and do it right. It becomes family as you push each other and cheer each other on as we all finish the WOD. Competition drives us all and motivates the soul. We are pack animals and need to know where we stand. It is exciting, humbling and joyful at the same time. Six in the morning is early, but when you can start the day laughing with one another and complete a WOD you can truly say you have accomplished more in one hour then ninety percent of people do in their entire day. You simply need to show up, the rest will take care of itself.

CFW is the total package. Great coaches, great members, great workouts. They want to see you accomplish more, a lot more then you can on your own, and go out of their way to see it happen.  You will not find a better place to forge elite fitness, find community and have fun.

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Steph (Mrs Bull) Bullman

My relationship with paleo began right before the last paleo challenge in 2011. Justin had come home one day and told me “Dan says I need to eat paleo.” Period. That was it. I thought to myself, “Why is this Dan character trying to take away my beloved grains and pastas and sugars? Why does he hate me!?” I wasn’t extremely keen on the idea to begin with but thought I’d go along with it anyhow for Justin. I was excited, however, to hear no dairy so Justin couldn’t tease me with cheese anymore since I’m lactose intolerant and have IBS.

The beginning was a lot of trial and error with the meals. Some incredibly gross ones to some super fantastic ones. Our relationship was rocky. I was cheating on paleo and paleo didn’t understand my “needs”. It was a lot of buying items that I thought were “paleo” only for Justin to tell me about 5 different things that was wrong with it. To say the least it was quite frustrating at first. Once I got the hang of paleo it started to become fun to mix and match things and make up my own meals. Justin even won the paleo challenge last year!

When we started paleo the first time, I did not crossfit. In fact, I didn’t work out at all. Despite that just eating differently I lost about 7 pounds; just extra fat or water weight that my body didn’t need. I also had way more energy and felt happier.

Enter crossfit. Finally, I joined. I joined the day before the paleo challenge started. By this time I was a paleo expert. For reals. We were getting serious. Now it was time to see how things with paleo went while working out. I have to mention that this time I also cut out all sugar. Before I still ate sugar and candy all I wanted because “I wasn’t the one trying to lose weight”. I won’t lie. Cutting out sugar was totes redic! I seriously went through sugar withdrawals; headaches, incredible cravings and bad mood swings.

Throughout the month long challenge I made incredible gains on many things. I dropped my body fat % by -1.6% and gained 3 pounds of lean mass. I improved my baseline by -3:25 and upped my Total by 62 pounds. I began to feel amazing. I had more energy in the day, I felt stronger with each WOD and I was happier. My stomach problems went mostly away which leads me to believe it wasn’t just the dairy and my skin cleared up too which was a total plus! I’m excited to see how much more I can gain with crossfit and I wouldn’t want to do it without eating paleo, ever. I’m happy to announce my relationship with paleo has now gone exclusive and we plan on being together for the long haul.

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Meredith’s Story

“I started CrossFit in January. At that point, I was lying to myself that I was “in shape” because I was skinny and frequented a high-end health club. Truth was, fast food and I were friends, and I had zero muscle or endurance. I was starting from square one. I couldn’t even hang on the bar, much less hope for a pull-up.

I thought I knew a lot about working out because of my military background. Then Dan pointed out a lot of things I was actually doing wrong and taught me the right techniques. I also thought I was eating healthy overall. Now, I follow a slightly modified paleolithic diet, and my food journal keeps me honest. It feels good to stop faking it and actually do something real.

Now, I CrossFit 4 times a week on average. I’m building muscle fast, losing fat, and increasing endurance. Pull-ups are not a problem. I also have a LOT more energy at work. My biggest fear was that I would end up looking like a body builder, but Dan taught me that’s impossible unless I’m taking drugs. Which I’m not, for the record. And he was right about that too.

So I thought my old marathon days were over, but through some chiropractic work on Dan’s suggestion and lots of confidence-building from fellow CrossFitters over the last four months, I have goals to raise money for TAPS again. CrossFit has really positively impacted my life, and hopefully the lives of some military families I’m now able to raise money for. Needless to say, I’m a fan.

All of this was possible simply because I did what Dan told me to do, motivated by all of the other awesomeCrossFitters in Woodbridge. They are a great bunch of folks, we’re kind of like a family. Minus the drama. Check it out, we even have a dog.”

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Luke’s Story

I am sure all of us have stories of how CrossFit has affected us; I am no different. I first started CrossFit with the hopes of getting in shape for the FBI. I quickly learned that CrossFit had more to offer than merely getting me in shape. For starters, I immediately found out that I had flexibility, nutrition, range of motion, strength, and stamina issues—and let’s not forget that the first workout I did showed me I had never really pushed myself before.

I had also been dealing with a nagging pain in my knee for a good year prior to starting up at CrossFit. In fact, a doctor was so surprised with my PCL that he assumed i had been in a car accident. My memory notwithstanding, he still diagnosed me with an old PCL injury and prescribed Physical Therapy. I was worried that my new physical therapist wouldn’t let me do CrossFit, but, surprisingly, it turned out that she was a Crossfitter. She worked her therapist magic during appointments and additionally encouraged me to keep up with the crossfit workouts. As she said:“ There is nothing better for joint pain than to strengthen the surrounding muscles. And if you are working with a certified trainer then you will learn how to do all the exercises safely and effectively.”

Obvisouly, we have several certified trainers at CrossFit Woodbridge.

With a healthy dose of squats from Dan, my knee pain slowly faded away.

I next learned a ton about was nutrition. Unfortunately I started CrossFit right after the first Paleo challenge. But, after hearing many of the success stories, I figured I would give general nutrition improvement a shot. I read a ton, asked a ton of questions, and slowly started making changes in eating habits. What really solidified things for me was talking with Shelby over at Max Muscle. She was immensely helpful as she was able to answer specific questions related to my own good/bad eating habits. (GNC is great but the employees at Max Muscle actually have some credentials and knowledge behind the counter.) After hearing, and following, her advice, the overall fitness regiment provided by Dan provided even greater dividends. I don’t have a before number, but my most recent BMI is down to 8.3%–and that is with my weight actually going up about 10 pounds since I started CrossFit.

I hope this encourages some of you who are just about to start the Paleo challenge. Don’t be afraid to bug Dan or Shelby about nutrition questions. See you guys hopefully on some of the Saturday Workouts in the future.


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Paleo Challenge Sept 2010

Congrats to everyone for competing in the Paleo challenge.  Like I said before I could care less how strict you’ve stayed and where you ended up in the standing as long as you learned something about food, what it does and how to change your life for the better.  What I like most about the paleo challenge isn’t all the complaining about being hungry, what to eat, getting yelled at when I try and help people no, I know it’s hard not to but, no.  I actually do like the fact that after all of that people come to the pot luck and talk about their experiences, what they’ve learned and it’s great.  I’m proud of you all, and you make me feel warm inside, there I said it.

Congrats to AP and Kodi as they came out on top as our two winners!

As a gym we lost 118 pounds and 27.5% body fat.  Our average power output started at 13.3% and went up as a whole to 31.7%.  Shizzam!!!  Incredible.  It’s not everyday you see changes like that at a normal gym.  You worked for it, you earned it and you deserve everything you get.  Congrats again everyone.


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Stephanie’s Story

Growing up I was lucky to be a part of a very active family. I ran Cross Country competitively in high school, was in great shape, and could eat whatever I wanted. After college things started changing. I still ate whatever I wanted but I stopped working out. I would go for a run maybe once a week and occasionally do some bicep curls with 10 lb weights. When people asked me if I worked out I said “Yes, I run!” But what I was doing could hardly qualify as exercise. Slowly I started putting on weight. At first just one size up and a couple extra pounds but that easily snowballs. I did not want to admit to myself how out of shape I was. I would not look at a scale, even at the Dr I asked them not to tell me my weight.  I hated seeing pictures of myself. I didn’t recognize the girl in the pictures anymore. It all caught up with me in February of this year when I was diagnosed with a metabolic condition linked to insulin resistance.  My fasting glucose was considered “prediabetic.” My blood pressure was high. My whole system was out of whack. My Dr told me to to change the way I eat and lose some weight or she was going to put me on blood pressure medication and monitor my glucose for diabetes all at the age of 24. After a reality check like that I finally looked at my weight and was not surprised to see that it had gone up 25 pounds in less than 2 years.  I had gone from a size 4 to a size 8/10.  I had to do something. Enter Crossfit Woodbridge! After talking to my husband, who had been doing Crossfit on his own for a while, I did my research and found CrossFit Woodbridge. I started Crossfitting 4 months ago. Since then I have dropped 14 pounds and a pants size, made massive strides in strength and improved my 5k time.  My diet has completely changed to modified Paleolithic. My blood pressure is down and  I just “feel better.” Not only has my health improved but I have made friends and become part of the CFW family. I have never seen a gym with such a sense of community. I know that weight training of any kind can be intimidating to a lot of women, myself included. But the trainers and other clients at CFW have been nothing but supportive and encouraging during my learning curve. I am amazed at what can be accomplished with some hard work and good coaching. I am excited about the changes I have seen in myself in the last 4 months, but I am no where near done. I have a lot of room to grow and I know that the CFW community will be there to cheer me on the whole way!

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Lee’s Story

I want to express my highest recommendation and thanks for CrossFit Woodbridge and its owner and my friend, Dan Broughton. I came to CFW in February 2010 after being rejected from Marine Corps OCS in January. My situation was different from the average person who walks in the door of the gym, but my results have been typical for any person who is willing to seriously put in hard work and effort day after day.

I started CrossFitting in 2008 and had been pretty serious about it for a couple of years when I got to CFW. I was even Level 1 certified and training at my school gym at Boston University. I thought that I had just about peaked in my personal physical capabilities by the time I was rejected from OCS. I scored a 276/300 on the Marine Corps Physical Fitness Test, which is one of the heaviest weighted parts of the application. After about 6 months at CFW I improved my PFT to 290, doing 20 pull-ups, 100 sit-ups, and a 3 mile run in 19:38. I am now one of the few candidates out of the entire nation who have been selected for an active duty ground spot at OCC 205 starting in October (roughly %10 of the qualified applicants sent to the review board were selected).

I’m not saying that the results I have seen at CFW were easy or would even be typical for most people. CrossFit is hard, and it is supposed to be hard. Achieving great results is not supposed to be easy. If it was, every person watching TV on an eliptical at every Globo Gym would be super fit. CrossFit is designed to provide elite results to people who are especially motivated to achieve them.

My best advice for anyone who is looking to achieve real results is to listen to every word Dan says and always take it to the limit. Do pull-ups, eat paleo, try GOMAD or the Zone, practice double-unders, wear a weighted vest, on-and-on, and never say that you can’t because that’s just an excuse.

Thank you to all of my friends at CFW who have supported me and pushed me through every workout. I will miss you all while I’m at OCS and look forward to coming back and hitting hard again when I can visit.

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Sean McGowan

Sean McGowan at almost 50 years old, has only been at CrossFit Woodbridge for a little over three months.  Tonight he got his first muscle up!!  Incredible!!  I’ve had ALOT of proud moments at CFW and this definitely ranks up there.  Nice job Sean!

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Pete and Chris Herrmann

I am a military spouse and mom of two young children, ages 1 and 3. I juggle the needs of my family and love them dearly. However, for almost 4 years my exercise has consisted of chasing children and pushing a stroller and usually at the pace a toddler can walk. Needless to say, my physical activity needed an overhaul. Even though I didn’t know how I could possibly fit something else into my day, I knew something needed to change, but I didn’t know what I was looking for.

Enter CrossFit.

My husband, Pete, is a dedicated Marine and has always been in good physical health, some because it’s part of his job to be fit, but also because he loves the challenge. One day we drove by CFW, and I hinted at being interested, and that’s all he needed to hear. That day he looked it up online and contacted Dan at CFW. Dan got back to Pete that same day and encouraged us to come take a free class and see what CrossFit is all about. Pete took a class first, and then a couple days later I mustered up the courage to walk through the door for my very first class. I hadn’t been in a gym in 4 years and I was nervous. Upon entering, I quickly scanned and noticed some very fit individuals, which oddly made me even more intimidated. Some thoughts that were going through my mind at the time were, “What have I got myself into?  I don’t belong here. I’m just a Mom. I push a stroller. I can’t do a push-up or a pull-up. Maybe I should just leave.”

Enter Dan.

Dan instantly made me feel welcome and assured me not to be nervous. He explained that every workout is scalable and not to worry he would give me specific instructions and not leave me hanging. I also quickly learned that no one was there to show off or to be intimidating, actually it was quite the opposite. Everyone was very friendly, welcoming and encouraging. By the end of day one, I could tell CFW was more like a family than anything. On day one, I did the same WOD along with everyone else in the room, but scaled to my level. It was an incredible experience to have tried something so far removed from anything I’ve done before. Pete and I quickly joined, and after completing fundamentals, joined the “family” and started normal classes. I go to the 6AM class and love it! Yes, I do have to get up a little earlier than I was used to, but it’s worth it.

CrossFit is unique, intense, oddly fun, challenging and inspiring, and it truly is for everyone. Every time I walk through the door, I have a coach waiting to challenge me, encourage me and make sure I don’t do something with bad form and get hurt. He also educates me constantly on the importance of nutrition, combined with fitness. I have been going for 5 months and have yet to have a repeat WOD. Every day is different and keeps you on your toes. Nothing boring or mundane about CFW!  I also have my fellow Crossfitters there to laugh with, sweat with, and tackle every tough WOD with each time I walk through the door.

CrossFit has gotten me back in shape. I am stronger than I have ever been.  I have muscles that I never knew I had. I went from being a sedentary Mom to a dedicated CrossFitter in a very short time. I admit it, I’m hooked. It’s a lifestyle change for sure, but one with results. On day one, I did modified pull-ups by using a box to jump my chin over the bar and  five months after joining, I did my first unassisted pull-up, just one of my many improvements, but one of my proudest moments. My children now associate me with exercise, specifically CrossFit, which makes me feels good.

If you are reading this testimonial, you are more than likely trying to decide if CrossFit is right for you. Stop wondering and give it a try. Take a free class, talk to Dan and give it a try. You won’t regret it! I came from a non-existent fitness level, to now being addicted. Just try one class and you’ll understand what I’m talking about. Do something for yourself today  – try CrossFit!

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Joe Yoswa

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